Femmostroppo Reader – October 28, 2009

Items of interest found recently in my RSS feed. What did I miss? Please share what you've been reading (and writing!) in the comments.

  • The Name Game
  • – “Apparently 70 percent of Americans believe that a woman should change her name when she marries, and 50 percent believe it should be required by law. “

  • So you think you got roofied?
  • – “Telegraph religion editor and Anglican priest George Pitcher makes an essential, if self-evident, point: “Rape is caused by rapists — not by women who are drunk or drugged, or by other risk-factors mentioned by the researchers such as walking alone at night.” Pitcher acknowledges that the study is useful but cautions against using it to displace blame. “Young women should of course be warned of the dangers of the world,” he writes. “But let’s be clear: Female students, or any woman of any age, should be able to get drunk, even make the mistake of getting too drunk, or walk home alone, or for that matter wear tiny skirts, without fear of sexual assault or rape.””

  • Looking At Why Winona State University Named 11th Safest in USA
  • – “For WSU it is important to note that their overall safety strategy is one of pervasive primary prevention rather than basing their strategy on calls for students to become great at self-defense which is what I see in most stories about college student safety. In those other stories the idea of primary prevention seems AWOL.”

  • Shoes for Men’s and Women’s Work
  • – “They have helpful color-coded symbols next to them–blue for men, pink for women–in case you’re confused.”

  • treating: communities versus individuals
  • – “If you treat all these people as individuals, what you have is a bunch of individuals with cancer looking for help. Maybe you refer them to a cancer treatment center–or maybe you look at it as a fabulous opportunity to start your own treatment center.brbrIf you treat all of these people as members of communities–if you treat them WITH their community members (think: community acupuncture models), then–you have ten people on one block with the same sickness sitting in the same room talking to each other. Then you have an acupuncturist/doctor saying, you know, you might find it useful to talk to Jean, who is already talking with Tom. Then you have a whole bunch of people wondering why every woman and even some girls in their families have breast cancer.brbrIs it really because they didn’t take the precautionary measure of preemptive mastectomies? Or–is there maybe bliterally/b something in the water?”

  • Bea: Good
  • – posthumous awesomeness from Bea Arthur

  • Trigger Warning
  • – “”This just gets worse and worse the more you dig into it,” [Lt. Mark Gagan of the Richmond, CA police department] said. “It was like a horror movie after looking at the evidence. I can’t believe not one person felt compelled to help her.””

  • I lt;3 Stephen Fry
  • – me too

Disclaimer/SotBO: a link here is not necessarily an endorsement of all opinions of the post author(s) either in the particular post or of their writing in general.

Categories: linkfest

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8 replies

  1. “Apparently 70 percent of Americans believe that a woman should change her name when she marries, and 50 percent believe it should be required by law. “

    Feministe is down right now, so I haven’t read the whole thing, but I wonder if the second part comprises people who in fact believe it is required by law. It has returned to being such a pervasive custom that while in fact I’ve only received the most lukewarm of criticism for not doing it (“… I, uh, I just feel like it makes you more… more of a family”) I have met a number of people who think it’s either a safe assumption or a completely bulletproof one.

  2. That sounds about right, Mary. Several times, when the subject’s come up in conversation, a friend has said “but doesn’t your name change automatically?” or “but you would LEGALLY be Mrs Hisname, really, even if you kept calling yourself Dr Yourname” or words to that effect. Gah.

  3. Feministe is down right now

    Yes, there seems to be a very effective DDoS going on at the moment. Gobshites.

    It has returned to being such a pervasive custom

    My impression is that more women keep their name in Australia than do in the US (or maybe the statistics are more about a rise in cohabitation instead of marriage, cohabitating women keep their own name, women who go for marriage tend to not?)
    We had a 50+ comment thread on this topic in 2007, btw.

  4. It is fun to me to know that you all are a day ahead of the US…
    Ah, I got as far as the first listing – and read the comments.
    I have married twice. The first time was in 1963 (a few weeks after JFK was killed).
    I was 23 and cried when I changed the name on the mailbox. I’d changed my name to his. It’s higher on the alphabet and with the name change, only “Sanda” gets messed up…
    When I got married again, in 1993 (after a stay in the hospital for escalated CFS/ME made me think my wonderful partner of nearly 14 years and I should wed), I suggested we combine both our names. He didn’t like the idea, so we each kept our own names — although my last name is still my first spouse’s. The official reason I didn’t go back to my “maiden” name (which was my dad’s anyway) when my first marriage ended, was so the child and I would have the same last name. It was the mid70s.
    I like the name I have had since 1963 – and it’s a mess to change ID. There’s some practical reasons for a woman to keep her name when getting married: in some states you need voter ID, etc. My birth certificate doesn’t match my name now.
    I don’t drive and don’t have a driver’s license. NYC people of a certain age do not drive and I couldn’t now anyway….
    I’ve always thought that NYC should just split off and become it’s own country, chuckle. So, my spouse and I have different last names. GREAT.

  5. Re: Trigger Warning
    That horrifying pack rape at the American high school has brought another case vividly to mind. This year it’s exactly twenty years since Leigh Leigh was murdered at a party by boys she knew, in Newcastle, Australia. Nick Enright wrote a superb play dealing with the issues, and its title should tell you everything you need to know about incidents like this; it was called “A Property of the Clan”. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to talk about these things to teenagers, but don’t confuse it with “Blackrock”, which was a later version and a betrayal of the insight shown by the original.
    Point is, these cases were separated by twenty years and half a world, but young men harming young women for sport is a constant, which should make it obvious that that’s the thing we need to be addressing.

    • @orlando,
      thank you for reminding me about Leigh Leigh and Enright’s play – that was also a terrible example of many people clamming up because the accused were “good boys” etc who had “just made a mistake”. No, they were murdering rapist shits – the girl was dead! But somehow that mattered far less than the boys’ futures to far too many people.

  6. I have so been there and done this:
    great post by Melissa McEwan
    7th Carnival of Feminists now up at http://shutupsitdown.co.uk/. Some good reading there. (UK version?)
    H/T to Deborah – In a Strange Land.

  7. As an extension of the changing name when you get married thing, the other phenomenon is women who are unmarried giving their children the surname of the father of the children, rather than their own surname.
    I know a number of women who have done this – my sister did it so that her boys would have the same surname as an older half sibling – but it continues to surprise me that women are still doing it. Another woman I know said it was because she and her partner intended to marry some day and she wanted them to all have the same name. I said that if she kept her own name then they would all have the same name, with the exception of her partner, and he could always change his name to hers. She seemed horrified at the suggestion.
    But then again, she is the same woman who, when I asked why she called herself “Miss” not “Mrs” given she had been married and divorced, she said, “but I’m single!”. I then asked why not “Ms”, and she gave me that horrified look again and said, “I’m not a lesbian!”.

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